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I am honored to be serving as your president for the next two years. When I first joined the Newport Harbor Orchid Society in 2012, I felt very welcomed into the group.

Starting with Laura at the front door, to Lily Hara’s sweet smile, to Nancy Benay’s friendly president’s remarks, to the Latimers helping me through the raffle process and then the awesome food! Wow! I felt so excited to join such a warm, organized, enthusiastic group that loved orchids (and food) as much as I do!

I have been the orchid curator for Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona del Mar for three years. When I got the job (a story I’ll tell another time!) I needed a crash course on orchids. I had so many questions! I bought loads of reference books, scoured the internet for hours but I was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the lack of information.

After attending my first meeting and culture class, I realized two things: 1) I had a lot to learn 2) NHOS was the best place to get sound and helpful information on orchid culture!

On a more personal level… I have a husband, Geoff, with whom I’m celebrating 25 years of marriage in September, and two children: A twenty-year-old daughter, Sophie, in college at Dominican University working toward her Masters in Occupational Therapy, and an eighteen-year-old son, Shawn, who is attending University of Minnesota for mechanical engineering in the fall.

Due to the participation in my son’s high school sports and Boy Scout meetings (always the first and third Tuesdays) while working toward his Eagle rank, I wasn’t able to attend many meetings but tried to get involved in the society as best as I could. I helped in a few Expo meetings, helped with the calendar events for the newsletter and had my first lesson in judging orchids by the ever patient and kind Winn and Chitsaya Winmaw.

I couldn’t wait to come to more meetings and get more involved as soon as my son graduated high school, but I didn’t expect to jump right to president! Thank you Tom Harrison for asking me to consider the president’s position and the big hug when I said, ‘Sure! Why not!?’

The more meetings and events I attend, the more people I am meeting and getting to know better. I feel lucky to know the people I’ve worked with and am looking for-ward to getting to know more of you over the years to come.


Darla Miller

President, Newport Harbor Orchid Society

Phyllis Prestia Ed. D.

Phyllis Prestia Ed. D.

“Orchid Discovery: Madagascar and the WOC Johannesburg”

Alex Allen, 1st Vice President, has been working diligently on lining up speakers for the next year! We are excited to have Phyllis Prestia for our August speaker!

Phyllis S. Prestia, Ed.D. is a retired educator and Middle School Principal. She received a Doctorate of Education at Rutgers University, where she also served as instructor in the graduate education program.

Originally from New Jersey, she moved to California with her husband to retire in the sunny, San Diego area and grow orchids. Her collection includes a variety of species and hybrids across several genera grown both in a small greenhouse and three outdoor growing areas under shade cloth.

In her orchid life she has been the President of the San Diego County Cymbidium Society and currently serves as the Vice President of the Cymbidium Society of America, as well as keeping active in several Southern California orchid societies.  She is currently participating in the orchid judge training programs of both the American Orchid Society and Cymbidium Society of America.

Phyllis recently spent nine days trekking through rainforests in Madagascar. She will highlight the species she saw and photographed, with an emphasis on Angraecoids.

Next, she flew to Johannesburg where she judged and attended the World Orchid Conference. She will highlight the orchids of Africa she saw and photographed and the displays and orchids which took the highest awards at the conference.
As she also grows many of the species she will highlight, she will review the culture for these orchids, including tips from her own successful experience growing them.

Please RSVP Alex Allen by Monday Aug. 17th to attend dinner with the speaker. Note location may change.

Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month.

Culture Class at 7:00 p.m.

General Meeting at 7:45 p.m 

Costa Mesa Community Center

Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month. Culture Class at 7:00 p.m. General Meeting at 7:45 p.m 

Mark Your Calendars

Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9, 2015: Summer 2015 Summer Orchid and Exotic Plant Festival. Westminster Mall, Westminster, CA. Event hosted by Newport Harbor Orchid Soci-ety. More information:

Saturday, September 26 to Sunday, September 27, 2015: “Fascination of Orchids” Fall Show. South Coast Plaza Village. More information:

Saturday, November 21 to Sunday, November 22, 2015: “Orchid Obsession” Fall Orchid Show. Hosted by Orchid Society of Santa Barbara. More information coming:

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